UFO spotters have accused Westminster of a cover-up over a delay in the release of a cache of documents known as “Britain’s X-Files”.
The Ministry of Defence promised to release 18 UFO files at the end of last year, but they have failed to materialise.
After Lord Black of Brentwood tabled a question to the House of Lords last month, the MoD admitted it had not yet handed the cache over to the National Archives for release.
It blamed “additional processing requirements” for the delay and said the files would be released in late 2015 or 2016.
Nick Pope, who used to work as a UFO investigator at the MoD, said: “This massive delay will have conspiracy theorists up in arms. It looks like the MoD is stalling.
“The suspicion will be that there’s a bombshell in these files and that the Ministry does not know how to handle it.
“I can understand why conspiracy theorists will be angry and suspicious.”
Some of the files are thought to relate to a famous UFO encounter in Rendlesham Forest which has been dubbed “Britain’s Roswell”.
American Airman First Class John Burroughs was exposed to radiation during this incident, leaving him with serious health problems.
“These documents could be legitimately called Britain’s X-Files and almost certainly contain further documents on the Rendlesham Forest incident,” Pope added.
“Given the US government recently settled an injury claim on the basis of a UK government admission that the Rendlesham witnesses were probably irradiated, it’s possible this has caused a high-level diplomatic row, and that’s what’s causing the delay.”
Pat Frascogna, Burroughs’ lawyer, recently won a legal bid to force military health chiefs to pay for the treatment of this illness.
“We know there is information contained in these MoD files about the Rendlesham Forest incident because the MoD clearly indicated so in responding to a Freedom of Information request by John Burroughs last year,” Frascogna said.
“It further frustrates all of us who are simply trying to get to the truth of what happened. I believe we may very well be witnessing a situation where someone in the MoD is either having second thoughts on releasing these secret files, or has been ordered by someone above to stall their release.”
Whilst many conspiracy theorists hope the documents contain evidence of extraterrestrial visitations, it is likely they contain top secret defence information which potentially relates to classified weapons or aircraft.
Last year, the CIA claimed responsibility for more than half of all reported UFO sightings in the late 50s and 60s.
In answer to Lord Black’s question, Lord Astor of Hever, Under Secretary of State and Lords Spokesman on Defence, said: “The schedule for the transfer of files from the Ministry of Defence to The National Archives consists of around 10,000 files per annum. The schedule is continually updated to take into account changes in priority and progress on different record sets.”